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Five schools targeted for low performance

March 29, 2011

State officials have singled out five schools which they say are among the worst in the state. The so-called persistently low-achieving schools designation will trigger extra funding and dramatic reforms.  

Four of the five schools are Providence Public Schools, where Superintendent Tom Brady has scheduled a press conference today amid speculation that he plans to resign. The fifth school is the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, which is run by the state. 

State education officials say they selected the schools based on a combination of factors including test scores and graduation rates. School leaders must now pick from a menu of turnaround plans that include handing the facility over to a charter school or even shutting it down altogether.

The schools selected this year include three Providence high schools, Alvarez High School, Mount Pleasant High School, and the Hope Information Technology High School, which was already part of a major redesign of Hope High School roughly five years ago.

Last year, the state named six failing schools, one in Central Falls and five in Providence. Central Falls began its high school overhaul back in September. State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist approved turnaround plans for the Providence schools today.

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